If there is something Sharon Bush is proud of beyond any of her other accomplishments as a philanthropist and businesswoman, it is her children Ashley, Lauren, and Pierce. She has made it her lifelong mission to make the world a better place and raise children who will use their skills and resources to serve the greater good as well. Explore the following three tips parents can learn from Sharon Bush.
Model the Behavior You Want to See
Image via Flickr by Leonid Mamchenkov
Children emulate what they see their parents do. When her children were young, Sharon started a charity that sold children’s toys and clothing, sent the profits to shelters caring for homeless and abused children, and involved her own children in her work. It is not surprising that her daughter Lauren would go on to create FEED, an organization that sells bags and accessories to raise money to fight hunger. Her son Pierce is the head of Big Brothers Big Sisters in Texas, and her daughter Ashley tutors victims of domestic violence.
Likewise, Sharon Bush recommends avoiding corporal punishment and threats of violence. Spanking doesn’t work, and when children see their parents hit or throw objects, it teaches them how they should act when upset.
Treat children as you would want to be treated. Don’t share embarrassing stories about them on social media if you would not tell them to a close family member or friend with children in the room. Further, don’t complain about your children in front of them. You are teaching your children how they should be treated and how to treat others by how you treat them. If you wouldn’t want to be treated that way, don’t treat your children that way.
Encourage Your Children’s Interests and Independence
From as young as 9 years old, Sharon’s children were speaking in front of audiences of adults. They were taught that their opinions and voices matter. This exposure to adult audiences built confidence and taught her children that they could do anything.
Likewise, Sharon encourages listening to your children and validating their feelings. Just because you know what is upsetting them may be minor in the grand scheme of life, it shouldn’t make their feelings invalid. What they are calling “the worst thing ever” may be the most painful thing they have experienced at that point in their lives. Listen to your children and understand their points of view.
Take an Active Role in Your Children’s Lives
Sharon recommends paying attention to the friends your children are playing with and what is going on in their lives. You do not need to be constantly hovering, but you should know about their friends, the activities they’re doing with those friends, and whether they are having any problems. By paying attention and being involved, you can pick up on bullying and other problems that may be occurring.
Sharon Bush raised three children, modeling the behaviors she wanted to see, encouraging their interests and independence, and also taking an active role in their life. Her efforts have earned her the Mother of the Year award from Hale House and have produced three outstanding children.